Summarizing Articles with a Framing Guide

framing guide

How often do you want to share a good science article with your students?   Almost every day I see something in the news related to genetics, ecology, and conservation and encourage my students to learn about current events in science.  I often print out articles to have students read and discuss in class.

Getting students to read the articles and engage in a meaningful way can be challenging.  I don’t always have the time to write questions to go with an article and when I do, find that many students just copy the answers from friends.

I now have my  students write article summaries when they are assigned this extra reading.   Since these summaries don’t follow traditional essays that they might have experienced in English class, I start by providing this framing guide that sets up the basic format for summarizing the article.  

It’s a quick cheat sheet for beginners and over time my students learn to write summaries without the crutch.   I’ve also found that summarizing texts leads to a more in-depth understanding of the concepts presenting in the article.

Generally, the summaries are 2-3 paragraphs long and impossible to copy from friends.  

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Sources for Science Articles:

Scientific American  |  Science Friday at NPR  |
Reuters Science | Nature: Science Journals | Science Daily